What is it about?

Meiosis is the cell division responsible for the formation of gametes; that is, the eggs and sperm necessary for reproduction in humans. The errors that occur during this process result in defective gametes that can be the cause of spontaneous abortions, genetic diseases and infertility. Meiotic cells have surveillance mechanisms or checkpoints that ensure that the gametes receive the adequate number of chromosomes. These mechanisms are like alarms, which are necessary to be sure that, in the event of an emergency, an adequate response is triggered to avoid dangerous consequences. In response to defects in chromosome synapsis and recombination, the meiotic recombination checkpoint blocks meiotic cell cycle progression, thus avoiding aberrant chromosome segregation and formation of defective gametes. The Pch2 protein, present in organisms from yeasts to humans, functions in this meiotic checkpoint. The Pch2 protein localizes to different compartments in meiotic yeast cells: nucleolus, chromosomes and cytoplasm. This article reveals the biological relevance of the cytoplasmic population of Pch2 that is necessary for meiotic events occurring on chromosomes. We demonstrate that the checkpoint activating function of Pch2 takes place outside the nucleus, whereas the nuclear accumulation of Pch2 has deleterious consequences.

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Why is it important?

Unexpectedly, this article reveals that the Pch2 protein, which has traditionally been studied and located exclusively within the nucleus, is also found in the cytoplasm and, in fact, it is the cytoplasmic protein that is essential to carry out the surveillance function during meiosis. The most relevant thing is that Pch2, from the cytoplasm, controls essential meiotic processes that occur within the cell nucleus


Our work highlights the importance of nucleocytoplasmic communication for a balanced distribution of crucial meiotic proteins required for proper completion of the meiotic program.

Pedro San-Segundo
Instituto de Biologia Funcional y Genomica, CSIC-USAL. Salamanca, Spain

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Pch2 orchestrates the meiotic recombination checkpoint from the cytoplasm, PLoS Genetics, July 2021, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009560.
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